Your best bet if looking to buy/rent a bike in Vietnam is to check craigslist Vietnam. Most backpackers will choose motorbikes that they want to buy or hire when they come to Vietnam.
It is really not hard to find a bike if you want one. Selling is probably harder, but even that isn’t really very difficult. These bikes just travel up and down the country over and over and their parts are constantly being fixed, repaired and replaced so every bike will have its own character and so the make and model pretty much starts to mean nothing because of this. You may buy the same bike as your friend and they will handle completely different. So a test drive is essential! Give it a good spin and check that everything works. Ask lots of questions and make sure that you get the blue ownership card. This basically proves that the bike is not stolen and if you don’t have one the bike may be harder to sell. Having said this, my friend bought one without the card and had no troubles.
How cheap a motorbike can be?
So as you can see from the above caption, I actually hadn’t intended to buy a bike. I found this place on craigslist and thought I would just go along to have a look at what their bikes were like. But then actually seeing the bikes, and after taking one of them for a spin around the block I really couldn’t resist. Plus I had just left some friends, was travelling alone again and thought that this would be a good next step in my travels…a new adventure! How exciting! I bought my bike for 6 million Dong, which is about £170 or roughly $250 at that time. There were cheaper bikes for around $200 but I wanted a slightly newer, more reliable bike. Especially as I was travelling alone. There are many mountain passes/roads where you don’t pass any garages, petrol stations or any form of civilisation for long periods at a time and I really didn’t want to be breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
My bike was a Honda Win 110. It was actually 107cc though and was roughly 3 years old. Honda Win is the backpacker bike of choice. They are relatively reliable for how cheap they are and the garages there all have spare parts for the bike in case it breaks down. And when not in the middle of the mountains, you will pass a garage like every 5 minutes or so. They are EVERYWHERE! And they are all dirt cheap too. Joy!